The award-winning author of The Boy in Striped Pyjamas has admitted to accidentally including a reference from the Legend of Zelda video game series in his latest novel.
John Boyne's latest novel, A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom, follows a narrator and his family over the course of 2,000 years starting from the year AD1.
The book was released in July and an eagle-eyed reader noticed something unusual in a section in the book where the lead character attempts to poison Attila the Hun by using 'Octorok eyeball, the tail of the red lizalfos and four Hylian shrooms.'
The reader shared this on Reddit, as these aren't real ingredients but actual monsters from the highly acclaimed and popular Nintendo video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In the game, the ingredients can be used to turn Link's clothing red and the below video explains how it works.
So what was Boyne doing? Is he a huge fan of the game and wanted to include a reference or was it just a freak accident?
After noticing the discovery on Reddit, writer Dana Schwarz shared it on Twitter as it seemed odd, but then found that if you Google 'ingredients red dye clothes' it actually comes back with a link to the Zelda game.
OKAY. This is a thread, but it’s worth it I promise.
On Reddit today, user u/NoNoNo_OhOhOh posted a page from accl… https://t.co/dZs5C3CJgw
This seems completely baffling that something from a video game could have made its way into a serious book and judging by his response he didn't even realise it. Still, Boyne seemed to find it very funny and was willing to own it.
He followed this up by asking people to remind him to include an acknowledgement of the game when the paperback version of his book is released as well as a GIF indicating that he felt a bit embarrassed by the whole thing.
At least he was good enough to admit to his mistakes and it just goes to show that you should always fact-check everything, even if you are an award-winning novelist.